In October 2012, developer Andre Kashuba purchased the Historic Rayworth House property located at 3605 N Albina in the nearby Boise neighborhood. He immediately filed plans with the city to demolish the existing 1890 single-family house and construct two attached larger homes on the lot. Around November, the city granted approval with a new proposed lot line splitting the property down the middle. In recent years, it has been a primary goal to encourage increased population density in close-in neighborhoods. Even though the Rayworth House is in the middle of a block of single-family homes between N Fremont and N Beech, most of the area is zoned for two families per lot, which explains the short of approval time by the city.
In response to the previous article released in January, there was an outcry from many nearby residents and a lot of buzz on the internet. Thankfully, the developer, who is in the building business for profit, responded and is willing to accommodate someone to move the house off the property. Instead of demolition in haste, he is allowing extra time for another party to get financing and permits to facilitate a building move. As a builder, this extra time is an expense to him. He is waiting until late March to get an agreement to take the house with financing and permits in place. Neighbors rallied for a petition for a 120 day demolition delay in addition, but this is less favorable to the builder.
Over the past two months, at least three parties have come forward interested in getting the house, but costs due to longer distances and city permit fees have been a stumbling block. One of the potential new destinations was a lot up on N Williams Avenue, outside the Boise neighborhood, but moving costs for that individual were over budget. People feel more secure if there is an organization that can help negotiate dealing with city fees, but internal city staff support is also critical. Cathy Galbraith (director of the Architectural Heritage Center) is willing to help a new prospective owner work on the city’s fees issue, if that’s what it takes to save the house. It is hoped another property owner within or near the Boise neighborhood comes forward as a short distance move would have lower moving costs, and time is running out. Even though the 1890 house may get a change of address, it would be ideal if the house could stay in the same neighborhood. A historic home relocation would be the most sustainable option and be a win-win scenario for all. Our historic resources in our close-in neighborhoods cannot be replaced.
Roy Roos is the author of the book “The History of Albina“, available at Powells Books & Broadway Books.
For more information on this project, contact Caroline Dao from the Boise Neighborhood Association at firstname.lastname@example.org.